HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A popular hot springs bathhouse is back open after a health scare that forced them to shut down, it turns out to be a mistake.
Anthony Taylor the co-owner of Quapaw Baths & Spa says “we’re back open for business.”
The water at the quapaw baths and spa, is back to drawing in vistors, instead of concern visitors over bacteria infection.
Taylor says, “we just simply do not know it could have happened.”
The only problem is Taylor is stuck with damage control.
“We scrubbed and cleaned every surface in the whole place, we disinfected all the water sources.”
Last week the State Department of Health shut them down claiming legionella bacteria was found in two pools. Turns out that was a false positive.
“In 12 years we’ve never had a positive bacteria test.”
That hasn’t changed, and neither has the health department’s stance on how they handle a bacteria that can sometimes lead to serious health risks.
Arkansas State Epidemiolgist Dr. Dirk Haselow says, “the inital results were supicious for legionella and based on those lab results, they shut down out of an abundance of caution.”
Taylor says, “I have personally returned phone calls from people who called the bath house who were quite upset in thinking they had been exposed.”
“Our number one priority is cleanliness, sanitation and it remains that to this day.”
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Hot Springs National Park has received finalized negative results of Legionella bacteria testing at the Quapaw Baths and Spa.
The concern was over a potentially dangerous bacteria, Legionella. Last week, the Health Department reported finding Legionella inside several pools at the Quapaw Bath and Spa, as well as a fountain operated by the National Parks Service.
According to the Health Department, no Legionella was actually found inside the spa or fountain.
The testing was prompted by three people who visited the spa in the past year and reported contracting Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia.
The Health Department ordered the spa to close last Friday.
The Quapaw Bath and Spa says it’s been dealing lost business in the wake of this mistake.
The bathhouse and spa has been cleared to resume all services.
Quapaw Bath and Spa released the following statement on the tests:
Final test results of water samples from Quapaw Baths & Spa show zero presence of Legionella Bacteria. Guests were never exposed to any kind of health risk and the prestigious baths and spa has now reopened.
The National Park Service Office of Public health has confirmed that a preliminary test indicating the presence of Legionella bacteria at the facility was a false positive.
Quapaw, which is committed to the highest standards for its guests, closed temporarily following the false alarm. During our decade in operation we have proactively undertaken thousands of tests, including daily examinations of our various pools and visitor areas, and never before encountered sanitation or health issues.
“We have always taken far-reaching steps to provide a relaxing and pristine environment for our guests and are pleased that this false and erroneous test reaffirms our perfect record on health and sanitation,” said Evan Nierman, a spokesman for Quapaw Baths & Spa.
As soon as Quapaw was notified about a potential issue, the spa took immediate steps, in coordination with the Department of Health and the National Park Service, to temporarily close down for cleaning, maintenance and additional testing.
“We are so sorry that people were inconvenienced by our closure,” said Nierman. “But not surprisingly, it was all a false alarm. Visitors are once again invited to experience the region’s most luxurious spa services, thermal pools and steam cave at Quapaw Baths & Spa.”